Book Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

I just want everyone to know that this post has been in my drafts for months with the only thing written being: “Oh boy, oh boy. Here we go. This should be a time.”

cob Summary from Goodreads:

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…

This review is spoiler free.

“Clary, you’re an artist, like your mother. That means you see the world in ways other people don’t. It’s your gift, to see the beauty and the horror in ordinary things. It doesn’t make you crazy – just different. There’s nothing wrong with being different.”

3 stars

I feel like I always start out my reviews by saying I have no idea where to start with my thoughts, but I honestly don’t know where to start with these books, much less how to be an objective reviewer. These books mean so much to me, they are the reason I actually joined the blogging community and also the cause of many emo hours. I met my favorite fictional character of all time for the first time in this book.

Basically, my overwhelming love for these books is going to make writing this review objectively hard, but I am going to attempt to do my best.


While I love Cassandra Clare’s writing a lot, I will admit that in this book it is really bad. This is her first book, and it definitely shows. There are quite a few cliches and cringy lines in general. There are also a ton of info dumps. I always forget how bad the info dumps are and then I reread it again and kind of just go, wow. There are some clever things in the writing still, however, sometimes important information is revealed in the form of jokes on quips.

Summary? The writing in this book is not exactly it but it improves immensely in her later books.


I am going to attempt to summarize the plot of this book in case anyone doesn’t know what these books are about:

Clary is 15 (almost 16) and her and her best friend Simon decided to go party at an all ages nightclub. While there, Clary sees a couple of knife wielding teenagers trying to kill another guy. Alarming, right? You know what’s more alarming? The fact that Simon can’t see them, only Clary can. Don’t worry, it gets more alarming. One of the “knife wielding hooligans” basically stalks Clary to a coffee shop. Then her mother is kidnapped. Then Clary is drug into a world she never knew existed and discovers she has to find some weird cup if she wants to get her mother back.

I am struggling to remember what I thought about this plot the first time I read the book, but given that this most recent read was my eight time reading it, it is kind of hard to do so. While the plot does rely on some conveniences, I think that it is pretty memorable. The world building interwoven with the plot is pretty good. This book also does a pretty good job of setting up the plot lines for later books.


Okay, I love each and every one of these characters to pieces so it is going to be extraordinarily hard to try and talk about them objectively, but I’ll do my best. I am also just going to be talking about the main five because these books feature a lot of characters.


Clary is my baby, my favorite character of all time. I will defend her until my last breath. She is the one character I cannot be even slightly objective about, I just can’t. I love her so much and I always love rereading this book because when you compare this Clary to the one from later books, it is honestly amazing to see how much she has grown.


While I love Jace in the later books (TDA era Jace is lowkey the best Jace), I will admit that in this book he is kind of annoying? He is very cocky and sure of himself, and while once more about his character and family is known, it makes sense and kind of just becomes a thing, but I know it annoyed me the first time around. He also says some things that are questionable in today’s society in these first couple books, which I am 120% guilty of ignoring for the sake of enjoyment.


Alec, my baby. Reading this book always hurts me when it comes to Alec because I hate seeing him so unsure of himself and defensive of who he is and what he feels. I know that he can come off as kind of a jerk in this book, but it is just because he is so afraid and it makes me go :(.


I always forget how Izzy is characterized somewhat differently in these books than the later books, but that is because her character hasn’t been explored well and not much is actually known about her. However, she is still confident and a powerful woman, which I appreciate a lot.


I somehow always forget how much I love Simon, but I really do. He is super funny and relatable. Once again, we don’t get to know him very well in this book, but he is an enjoyable character nonetheless.

overall thoughts

My overall thoughts on this book are a hot mess. This book isn’t the best (I have always given it three stars, all eight times I have read it lmao), but it does a really good job of setting up the world of these books. This series is so dear to me, I will always recommend it, but it does have its problems, especially in these first couple of books. If you’re interested in these books, I recommend sticking it out through City of Glass if the writing isn’t your thing at first because it improves immensely by that book.

6 thoughts on “Book Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

    1. Thanks, Caitlin! I will do my best to continue talking about TMI to try and motivate you (not that it’ll be hard for me in the slightest haha). I look forward to seeing your thoughts when you do reread!! CoB is a wild ride of a book lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Did I just read through this entire thing even though I’m trash for all things Shadowhunters? Yes. Do I agree with everything in this review? YES. It’s definitely has some First Book Blues™ but like who can resist angel/human hybrid warriors? No. One.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can definitely not resist the shadowhunters! I love them all (well, most of them)! City of Bones is a super fun read but I think that saying it has First Book Blues is a good way to put it lol.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s